How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Phoenix AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Phoenix AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Phoenix AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.